By Adam Hart
Look at the President's bracket. Go ahead, I dare you. The left side is a sea of correct picks.
How does he have the time to watch enough basketball to make a bracket superior to mine?
It is not "how," but "why."
LOCATION: White House Situation Room, March 16th. President Barack Obama sits in a luxurious chair, behind which rests a giant poster board covered by a sheet. In walks Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.
Obama: You know why you're here, right?
Geithner: To learn about your plan for reducing the deficit.
Obama: No, I mean as Treasury Secretary. Why you have the job? . . . Because you remind me of that guy from Ghostbusters II -- the "If I want to bring the baby" guy. He's hilarious . . . I wish you were funny like him.
Obama: But, yes, you're in the Situation Room to learn of my plan. Aside. Reggie, the sheet.
Presidential aide Reggie Love, a former Duke basketball player, removes the sheet covering the poster board.
Geithner: A March Madness pool? That's your plan?!
Obama: Not just any March Madness pool; it's the richest pool in the history of the world. It's a G20 pool.
Geithner: Wait. I can't even get the G20 to listen to my speeches. How'd you get all 20 member nations to join the pool?
Obama: Not all 20, dummy. Japan is a little busy trying to repair itself.
Love: Scoldingly. Be considerate, Tim.
Geithner: . . . Sorry.
Obama: Staring at Geithner with disappointed eyes for exactly 17 seconds. We don't want Japan to feel bad, so we're still calling it a G20 pool. But 19 is good enough. At 52.6 billion apiece, first place takes home one trillion dollars.
Geithner: No. NO! We are not doing this; no way, no how. I can't justify gambling 52.6 billion on a basketball tournament.
Obama: Too late. Everyone's already put their money in the pot.
Love: Does the 'make it rain' hand gesture.
Love: Snorts. The President's not done.
Obama: Thanks, Reggie. To Geithner. It comes down to this, Tim. I still need to get payback on Lula for that Confed Cup stunt he pulled a few years back. I know he's not in charge anymore, but I've been itching to get Brazil. Oh, they'll pay. They'll pay real bad.
Geithner: Is this about shrinking the deficit or revenge?
Obama: Reve . . . the deficit. Yeah, shrinking the deficit. Nasty deficit, always ruining our fun. Whispers to Love. I want a plane flying a sign over Lula's house after Thursday's game. Morehead St. beating Louisville?! Pssh. Brazil's bracket looks like a 2nd grader filled it out. I bet they think you kick the ball into the basket or something. To Geithner. Don't worry, Tim. You'll get your money. I've been studying these teams all season long.
Love: Let's just hope Kansas wins it all.
Geithner: Gulp. Hope?! I thought you left hope on the campaign trail. We can't "hope" when it comes to 52.6 billion.
Obama: Fine. D'you want to me to enter a second bracket?